Still Life Painting Course at Huttons Ambo

I am always amazed by the talent in the room when I run Painting Courses and this recent Still Life Course was no exception. It is always particularly magical how complete beginners manage to find their creative voices and produce work which surprises in its quality. Also great to see how more experienced artists make their own personal leaps and further develop their style, often becoming more expansive and experimental.

We consider composition, tone, colour and a range of painterly techniques including layering, washes, printing and scratching out. We also look at how different brushes can be used to make different types of mark making. 

See upcoming courses on the Workshops Page.

All images are students work

Emma George
Painting near Sledmere in East Yorkshire
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Harvest-in-The-Yorkshire Wolds-acrylic-on-board 2ftx4ft.jpg

I had one of my best Sundays painting with Mixed media artist Shirley Vauvelle. The temperature which soared to a mighty 28 degrees didn't distract us too much from the exquisite blonde curves of the Yorkshire Wolds in July. The haystacks are already made up into tantalising squares and rolls.

I want to describe the heat in the scene even though it is all a white cream apart from the dark green trees and also the sense of dramatic  curvaceous space and white gold beauty, hallmarks of the gentle Yorkshire Wolds. A bit of red in the yellow mixed with white is beginning to get there. Still working on them today. Watch this space…

Emma George
Antidote to English Winter
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Antidote to English Winter, a Still Life painting course I ran in February, really was a colourful antidote to the February chill. We explored colour, composition and texture, using arranged still life as a starting point. The resulting work was both exciting and organised. I think it is as useful for students to have a tighter frame within which to work as it is to have complete free reign. This workshop managed to combine both.

To find out more about my upcoming courses, click here

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Emma George
Sailing in Lanzarote
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I just got back from a sailing holiday in Lanzarote and although I have finally decided that sailing is not really me, I was actually entranced by Lanzarote.  

For an artist, Lanzarote is a very visually exciting space. The very starkness and the black volcanic rock, sets off everything else which is not volcanic rock. The racing, puffy, ever changing cloudscape, the white buildings, the green sculptural cacti. The place is like a big gallery of blank spaces where everything that is in it has space to breath.

I am looking forward to producing a collection of Lanzarote paintings and am also applying for an Artist residency there next year. This has also shown me the new direction of my work which is to record very different landscapes in very different looking countries.

Emma George
Rosedale Commission

Really enjoyed painting this commission of Rosedale. Commissions are a great opportunity to hone painterly skills. In some ways I really liked the simplicity of the early stages but it had to be taken further and the brief was lots of warm colour.

Details of Rosedale

Details of Rosedale

The finished result glows- Just like Rosedale in the evening sun.

'Rosedale'

'Rosedale'

Emma George
Fantastic two day painting workshop

Fantastic two day painting workshop in Huttons Ambo with students from far away places such as Wales and Australia. Thank you all so much you talented lot. The landscape around Huttons Ambo has been brought to life in a new and unique way. 

To find out more about future workshops, click here

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Emma George
'Helmsley Walled Garden' and ‘Pots and Plants’

Someone once sent me a little saying in an anonymous ‘share a special part of a poem with a stranger’ project. It went something like this...

In the darkest part of the dark night - the light comes.

At the time I tossed it to one side dismissively as somehow not coming up to the mark in the profundity I was seeking. However, it stayed with me and came to mind again when I made the arduous journey from ‘Helmsley Walled Garden’ to ‘Pots and Plants ’.

I have struggled with the Helmsley Walled Garden painting for over two years; Spent hours and much paint on trying to get it right. It has been finished several times, but I was never happy with it. The bonfire came to mind, I lost faith in my ability as a painter.

I was eventually reminded of what I teach my students. “You must sometimes destroy what you are most attached to in an image to make it come alive.” It was only when I did this that the painting began to have vitality and strength. How greatly is painting a mirror of life. Authenticity in painting must come from deep inside, never from the surface. This new image has surprising new marks. It is clean and fresh alive and dynamic.

Helmsley Walled Garden

Helmsley Walled Garden

Pots and Plants - work in progress

Pots and Plants - work in progress

UPDATE - The finished painting!

UPDATE - The finished painting!

Emma George
New Collection of Plein Air Paintings
Earth Song

Earth Song

I've been painting in the fields around Hutton's Ambo in this boiling hot weather. Painted on Birch ply with two coats of top quality Gesso, the work has reached new heights.

The Gesso is magical as it reacts with the paint in a living way. The boiling hot weather has added to the dramatic contrasts the bright sun has created between light and dark.

Homage To Bruce Chatwin's England’s Green Bowl

Homage To Bruce Chatwin's England’s Green Bowl

The Road Less Travelled

The Road Less Travelled

The Buttercup Field

The Buttercup Field

Emma George